City eliminates vehicles from its fleet

The city plans to reduce its number of vehicles in an effort to reduce spending

The city will reduce its fleet of city vehicles in an effort to reduce spending.

City council voted to make the change at the city’s final financial planning meeting on March 27.

The elimination of five vehicles will free up $14,400 annually in the city’s budget and reduce the city’s fleet by seven per cent.

A jeep loaned to Rivercorp, two vans used as Dogwood Operations Centre pool vehicles, and a sidewalk sweeper will be eliminated as they are either used as back-up or are under-utilized, said Dave Morris, the city’s general manager of facilities and supply management.

Morris said it’s estimated the city could generate proceeds of just less than $9,000 through disposal of the vehicles.

The fifth and final vehicle to be axed from the city’s fleet is the bylaw enforcement passenger car, as the bylaw enforcement service was discontinued as part of budget planning. Proceeds generated through disposal of the bylaw vehicle are estimated at $2,500 said Morris.

Council also held off on approving 12 low-priority vehicle replacements for 2012 but did go ahead with funding (from Community Works and Equipment Replacement Reserves) for the replacement of seven vehicles which city staff deemed as critical.

“Vehicles have been determined to be critical replacements based on mechanical condition, safety and service impact of a major mechanical failure,” Morris said. “Two of the seven have been written off, one from an MVA (motor vehicle accident) and one that was stolen and damaged beyond repair.”

Vehicles that won’t be replaced this year include five pick up trucks, a tractor mower, a service van and a Jeep Cherokee for water, roads, parks and pool.

At a financial planning meeting March 13, Coun. Ron Kerr made a motion to not replace any of the city’s fleet in 2012 and to reduce the fleet by 20 per cent.

But the majority of council thought that was going too far and defeated Kerr’s motion.

“We can’t have the city operate without these types of vehicles,” Coun. Claire Moglove said. “Seven are critical and those, in my opinion, should be replaced.”

On March 27, council approved funding the seven critical replacements but did not take Morris’ recommendation to pursue eliminating vehicles subject to successful negotiations with affected employees.

Those include vehicles used by operational supervisors (roads, water, parks) and vehicles used for project supervision and building inspections.

Morris said if council chose to eliminate those vehicles the city would require employees to use their own personal vehicles with mileage reimbursement or vehicle allowance.

“Introduction of either of these approaches will be subject to negotiation with affected employees,” Morris said. “The city cannot mandate that staff have to provide their personal vehicles for city business.”